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The Diary of a Nobody

Grossmith and Grossmith

Book Overview: 

The Diary of a Nobody is the fictitious record of fifteen months in the life of Charles Pooter, his family, friends and small circle of acquaintances. It first appeared, serialized in Punch magazine and might be regarded as the first ‘blog’; being a record of the simplicities and humiliations in the life of this mundane, but upright, city clerk, who had an incontestable faith that a record of his daily life was worth preserving for posterity.

Set in about 1891 in Holloway, which was then a typical suburb of the impecuniously respectable kind, the authors contrive a record of the manners, customs and experiences of the late Victorian era. The bare record of facts, simply recorded, manages to be humorous rather than dull, no doubt because of the usual occupations of the authors.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .May 16.—Absolutely disgusted on opening the Blackfriars Bi-weekly News of to-day, to find the following paragraph: “We have received two letters from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pewter, requesting us to announce the important fact that they were at the Mansion House Ball.”  I tore up the paper and threw it in the waste-paper basket.  My time is far too valuable to bother about such trifles.

May 21.—The last week or ten days terribly dull, Carrie being away at Mrs. James’s, at Sutton.  Cummings also away.  Gowing, I presume, is still offended with me for black enamelling his stick without asking him.

May 22.—Purchased a new stick mounted with silver, which cost seven-and-sixpence (shall tell Carrie five shillings), and sent it round with nice note to Gowing.

May 23.—Received strange note from Gowing; he said: “Offended? not a bit, my boy—I thought you were offended with me for losing m. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see - because I do not happen to be a 'Somebody' - why my diary should not be interesting."

And thank goodness that Charles Pooter, ordinary clerk and Victorian family man decide...more

Brilliant! A book filled with unimportant characters, not about anything in particular, in which nothing much happens. Well not exactly, this is a satire on being ordinary.

Admittedly modern readers may not find it as funny as when it was first published in Punch in the late 19th century, as the c...more

It is with the uttermost pleasure that I read through the diary of Mr Charles Pooter of Holloway, London.
Mark my words, this gentleman was certainly not a Nobody.

I am aware that the excellent Mrs Pooter and the author's own son, Mr Lupin Pooter, didn't value the diary much. Nonetheless, it is m...more

11 April

Sat down to write a capsule review of The Diary of a Nobody. Interrupted by a loving thump at the door. It was Mark Nicholls from my review of Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, a piece of spoof metafiction that ranks as my most liked GR review. I studied my 23-year-old s...more

I so enjoyed this! Such a funny, warming Bd interesting exploration of late 19th century lower middle class life.

Bumbling Charles Pooter's memoir of timeless suburban angst The Diary of a Nobody (1892) remains remarkably modern and amusing even a century after it was first printed in Punch. Pooter can't understand his son's slang or dismal work ethic ... his wife is spellbound by new age spiritualism ... h...more

Well, what can I say?

Bloggers, Facebookers - who would have thought you had a predecessor in Victorian England?

Who would have thought the vain thoughts and actions of a completely unimportant person with big ideas about his own personality were meticulously documented and published back then alr...more

The diary of my everyday life would be very boring, and by most measure so is Charles Pooter's. Living in late Victorian Era England, Pooter and his wife Carrie are stuck deep into middle class society. But Pooter knows his place, and he seems quite happy to make the best of it. He pays homage to...more

803. Diary of A Nobody, George & Weedon Grossmith
The Diary of a Nobody is an English comic novel written by the brothers George and Weedon Grossmith, with illustrations by the latter. It originated as an intermittent serial in Punch magazine in 1888–89 and first appeared in book form, with ex...more

Mr. Pooter decides to keep a diary in the hopes of one day becoming the Pepys of the late Victorian era. He is a clerk of a somewhat stuffy and pompous nature but with a love of bad puns and jokes (luckily for him his wife shares his sense of humor!).

I found him a little reminiscent of "The Iris...more

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